Cisco denies set top box business is up for sale

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) is once again finding itself denying rumors that its set top box (STB) business is for sale.

This latest rumor was fueled by a New York Post report on Sunday that cited an unnamed source that the vendor is shopping the STB unit it purchased from Scientific Atlanta in 2006 to potential bidders.

According to the Post's report, Cisco wants to sell off the STB business so it can devote more of its attention to the Videoscape product it introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2011. Videoscape was developed by using technology the routing vendor acquired from Scientific-Atlanta and three other companies in 2011--Inlet Technologies, ExtendMedia and BNI Video.

However, John Earnhardt, director of corporate communications for Cisco, told FierceCable editor Steve Donohue that Cisco will remain in the STB market. "We are committed to the market. Therefore we will continue to be in the market," he said.

He confirmed the same in a blog post on Cisco's site. "Let me be as clear as I can: we love set top boxes," he wrote, adding that "I hope that this clarifies any erroneous, unsourced comments that might be out there in the marketplace."

To back up his argument, Earnhardt cited a statement by John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, from the company's fiscal Q2 earnings call.

"In terms of set top boxes, we are very much committed to this marketplace," Chambers said. "Our SP customers asked us to partner with them as they move from traditional set top boxes to IP set top boxes to the cloud, our Videoscape solution. Receptivity so far has been very, very good in terms of our strategy."

Chambers said that Cisco's customers have "asked us to partner with them as they move from traditional set top boxes to IP set top boxes to the cloud, our Videoscape solution."

New rumors of the set top box sale follow the vendor's broader company reorganization, in which it looked to save $1 billion in expenses through layoffs and selling underperforming units like its Flip video camera business. It also sold off its Scientific-Atlanta manufacturing plant in Juarez, Mexico to Foxconn Technology Group.

For more:
- see FierceCable's coverage
- the New York Post has this article
- see Cisco's blog post

Special Report: Wireline in the fourth quarter 2011

Related articles:
Report: Cisco's Scientific-Atlanta up for sale
Cisco's turnaround efforts had a positive effect on fiscal Q2 results
Cisco shuts down Flip video business, dismisses 550 employees
Cisco's Chambers plans to overhaul company focus

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